Submission to Governing Authorities
Is Romans 13 a command for unlimited submission to any government? Absolutely not! Find out why…
By de Andréa
April 11, 2013
Romans 13 1-7 NIV
“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. 4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. 6 This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.”
But what if your government wasn’t instituted by God… What if your’ government was instituted by the deception of Satan and the ignorance of a Godless people… does one still obey an evil government?
Many Christians have taken this part of scripture out of the context of the rest of Biblical truth and interpreted Romans 13 as a command for unlimited submission to government. Many proponents of this belief have sat passively by, in the soft pews of their places of worship, while evil has triumphed in most areas of family and church life, moreover, our pacifistic doctrinal smugness just may have enabled our government to replace God without us even knowing it. This is the kind of man made doctrinal swill that does nothing but create ignorance and deception, divide Christians and will do nothing but lead to the enablement of the enemy and our destruction. This is reminiscent of the ignorant passivity of the Jews in
Europe in the 1930’s
and 40’s which nearly led to their extinction.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing." -- Edmund Burke
Yet, when confronted with the true meaning of Romans 13, absurd accusations are robotically shouted in the name of religious doctrine and rhetoric toward those who would dare to break an unjust law or even to question the almighty government. The opponents of unlimited submission to government are deemed as rebellious, anarchists and disobedient extremists. Note…Obama’s DHS has labeled Conservative Christian Constitutionalists as anti government domestic terrorists…
First, unlimited submission to government is not practical. For a philosophy to be a valid philosophy, it must be consistent. As a result, it does not make practical sense to blindly obey a tyrant like Adolph Hitler or deem a law such as abortion-on-demand or men laying with men a legitimate law just because one’s government says it is public policy.
However, if we believe that Romans 13 actually does teach unlimited submission to government, then we must obey and acknowledge all laws, good and evil, as the will of God. If all governments are of God, then all laws are of God. This in not only not practical, it is not the truth from any point of view and can only lead to certain destruction.
Second, it is not historical. Our founding fathers recognized and understood tyranny and despotism. They perceived the ultimate end of the king’s actions. Thus, they besought George III to relent in his persecutions and implored him to uphold his covenant agreement.
In July of 1774, our Forefathers met in
Fairfax County, Va.,
and considered ways of forcing to redress American grievances. George Washington and George Mason were the
instrumental agents in drafting what has come to be known as the “ Great
Britain Resolves.” Fairfax
Ponder for a moment Resolves five and six:
#5 “Resolved that the claim lately assumed and exercised by the British Parliament, of making all such Laws as they think fit, to govern the people of these colonies, contrary to the first Principles of the Constitution, and the original Compacts by which we are dependent upon the British Crown and Government; but is totally incompatible with the privileges of a free people, and the natural Rights of Mankind; will render our own Legislatures merely nominal and nugatory, and is calculated to reduce us from a state of freedom and happiness to slavery and misery.”
#6 “Resolved that Taxation and Representation are in their nature inseparable; that the right of withholding, or of giving and granting their own money is the only effectual security to a free people, against the encroachments of Despotism and Tyranny; and that whenever they yield to one they fall prey to the other.”
All of the Resolves are loaded with bullets that explode against a tyrannical and despotic government. “The shot that was heard around the world” on
Lexington green was loaded in the “ Resolves.” The Colonists pleaded with George III to
uphold his covenant agreement and consider a redress of grievances. Fairfax
The “coup de grace” is plainly stated in the 23rd Resolve:
“Resolved that it be recommended to the Deputies of the general Congress to draw up and transmit an humble and dutiful petition and remonstrance to his Majesty, asserting with decent firmness our just and constitutional Rights and Privileges, lamenting the fatal necessity of being compelled to enter into measures disgusting to his Majesty and his Parliament, or injurious to our fellow subjects in Great Britain; declaring the strongest terms of duty and affection to his Majesty’s person, family and government, and our desire to continue our dependence upon Great Britain; and must humbly beseeching his Majesty, not to reduce his faithful subjects of America to a state of desperation, and to reflect, that from our Sovereign there can be but one appeal.”
The defiance of tyrannical authority
In simple terms, the Resolves offered George III two obvious choices. One was to fulfill his covenant obligations and be the king and ruler to the American Colonies that he had agreed to be or, second, to prepare for war. George III was asked to reflect upon the fact that if he did not keep his end of the covenant, there could “be but one appeal.” Last –and most important — though it may be church doctrine or rhetoric (it is not biblical). Daniel disobeyed Darius and went to the lions den. The three Hebrew children broke the law for not bowing. The parents hid baby Moses from Pharaoh. Rahab lied to protect the Hebrew spies. The Apostles went to prison for preaching Christ in the authority of Heaven. Paul and his followers in Acts 17 did contrary to all the decrees of Caesar in order to make Jesus the King. Even Jesus taught in direct opposition of the political religious leaders of his day and went to the cross for us.
Romans 13 is an idealistic treatise by Paul and the Apostles on the institution of a model government. As we rightly divide the word of truth and take this passage in its total context, we will discover seven truths:
1. Good government is ordained by God.
2. Government officials are to be good ministers who represent God.
3. We the people must obey good and godly laws.
4. As we relate Romans 13 to
Constitution is the higher power — not the IRS tax code. America
5. Good government is not to be feared.
, we are to pay honor and
custom and constitutional taxes to whom it is due. America
7. Government is to protect the righteous and punish the wicked.
THE BOTTOM LINE: As a result, we have a practical, historical and biblical mandate to fervently disobey any unconstitutional and unbiblical laws and all government officials who cease to be good ministers of Jesus Christ. God almighty is the only power that deserves unlimited obedience.
I believe that God instituted
America for Christians just as God instituted Israel for
Jews. The founding document of the
American philosophy called the Declaration of Independence was based on the Biblical
principals ordained by God. The
subsequent Constitutional architecture serves as the foundational support of
the freedom we inherited through Jesus Christ.
But during the course of human events, it may have become necessary for a people to dissolve the political bands which have long connected us with one another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature the U.S. Constitution, and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to be separated.
Does that sound familiar? It should, the theme behind it, is from the opening statement of the Declaration of Independence. Guess what? It still applies my friend. We now have a government that is a result of the erosion of the moral faculties of the people of this nation. This government has totally turned its back on the fundamental philosophy of
Constitution that supports it. It has
adopted the philosophy of our enemy. If
the American people do not stand up and fight in the honor of those Americans
that shed their blood and died 237 years ago for their freedom, they will
deservedly lose everything that the Creator gave them. America
There may come a time in the not to distant future when push will come to shove, there will be uncertainty of just what one should do. I hope in some small way this may be a guide for you.
Thanks for listening and may God bless you – de Andréa
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